CAPE CORAL, Fla -- As the debate about gun control heats up, the sale of semi-automatic rifles like the AR-15 are actually increasing.
High-schoolers from Majory Stoneman Douglas and around the country demonstrated, Monday, for stronger gun control laws. "We can prevent some seriously nasty crimes and some seriously indescribable tragedies from occurring, and if somebody doesn't want to do that at this point, that's pathetic," said Emma Gonzales, a Parkland shooting survivor.
Lawmakers are feeling the heat. President Trump told media, Monday, he would consider gun control measures to improve background checks for gun purchases.
Meanwhile, gun stores like Shoot Center in Cape Coral are busy with customers. Owner Aaron Forum said sale of the AR-15, the same weapon used by the Parkland shooter, has increased by as much as 30%. He believes an increase in gun sales is due to a combination of factors:
1. People are becoming more aware of dangers in their community and want to arm themselves.
2. Gun legislation may limit purchase of certain weapons.
"We've definitely seen an increase in sales since that horrible event that happened," Forum said. "Enough of our customers understand that if enough of our lawmakers get together, we're going to see another assault weapons ban like we saw in 1994, which was a 10 year ban."
The law banned weapons like the AR-15 and the AK-47. It expired in 2004. In Forum's opinion, the ban did not work. "I think statistics showed that it was relatively ineffective, and those types of firearms are not prevalently used in crimes. It's mostly handguns," he said.
However, the AR-15 was used in several mass shootings in recent history, including the Sandy Hook shooting, the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, and the shooting at a Las Vegas concert a few months ago.
With these tragedies fresh in the mind of lawmakers, Forum believes a new ban is inevitable. "It may not happen in the next year, or two years, but it's most likely going to happen again."